Top tips from the RNLI for staying safe at the beach.
If you're heading to the beach this summer, spare a thought for safety. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging anyone planning a trip to the beach and, particularly, anyone thinking of going into the water, to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim in the area between the red and yellow flags.
In 2012, RNLI lifeguards responded to 14,523 incidents and helped 16,418 people on some of the UK's busiest beaches.
To help the beach-going public stay safe, the lifesaving charity is offering some essential beach safety tips to make sure people remember their summer holidays for the right reason.
Ross Macleod, RNLI Coastal Safety Programmes Manager, says: "We recommend that people choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, where the lifeguards can see them. We want people to enjoy their time at the beach, but it's important to put safety first. By following the advice the RNLI is offering, we hope people will stay safe at the beach so they remember their summer for the right reasons."
"RNLI lifeguards are specially-trained and a great deal of their work is preventative - they give advice and warn people of potential dangers, to prevent incidents happening in the first place."
"Those who can't make it to a lifeguarded beach should find out about their chosen beach before they go, read the safety signs to make themselves aware of the local hazards. Most importantly, if they see someone in trouble, they should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard - but should not enter the water themselves."
This year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling 200 of the UK's busiest beaches.
The charity's free Beach Finder mobile app can help you find the nearest lifeguarded beach.
Further practical advice and tips on how to stay safe or call 0800 328 0600.